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2024 Phillips Murrah Summer Associates Reflect of Their Experiences

By July 3rd, 2024No Comments
Group photo of 2024 Phillips Murrah Summer Interns

2024 Phillips Murrah Summer Associates, from left: Reid Powell, Lacy Kelly, Jay Hitt, and Gaby Byrne.

As our time with Phillips Murrah’s 2024 Summer Associates has come to a close, we would like to take an opportunity to express our gratitude for the time and effort they contributed over the past six weeks. Career development and workplace insight are important goals of our Summer Associates program, and law students Reid Powell, Lacy Kelly, Jay Hitt, and Gaby Byrne got a glimpse of our employment culture while gaining a wide range of real-world legal experience. To get a better idea of whether we held up our end of the bargain, we invited each of them to share their thoughts about the experience, and a little about themselves and their motivations to pursue a legal career:

2024 Phillips Murrah Summer Clerk portrait Gaby Byrne

Gaby Byrne

Gaby Byrne

Gaby is a law student at Oklahoma City University School of Law and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Arkansas. During her first year at law school, Gaby served as a Student Bar Association representative for the Organization and Advancement of Women in Law. This year, she will continue her commitment to the organization by serving as Secretary.

Gaby said:

My general impression of Phillips Murrah during my experience has been that there is an open-door policy. Every partner, Associate, and Of Counsel has been so friendly, willing to answer questions, and explain topics in detail. Phillips Murrah feels like a team, and each attorney wants to help the others succeed.

Many of my law school classes are rule oriented which is a great foundation, but working in a firm, the research is less rule based and more finding and applying situational caselaw that fit the circumstances of the current case. I began my clerkship with the unrealistic belief that questions and research would be straightforward to find a “correct” answer. Many research projects I was assigned were very open-ended and took multiple follow ups with the attorney to narrow down my search results to properly answer the question.

In high school my favorite elective was debate, and this was the first time my mom mentioned I should be a lawyer. There were no lawyers in my family. During college, I needed a minor and chose legal studies, which spurred my interest in attending law school.

2024 Phillips Murrah Summer Clerk portrait Jay Hitt

Jay Hitt

Jay Hitt

Jay is a distinguished Hatton Sumners Scholar entering his second year at Oklahoma City University School of Law. He graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Texas Tech University and holds an Associate of Arts in Business, also summa cum laude, from Western Texas College.

Jay said:

My time at Phillips Murrah has been really wonderful. Everyone has been welcoming and gracious to the other summer associates and myself. It has been a great experience because I have gotten to know so many people at the firm through different projects, events, and opportunities. I am left feeling confident that everyone at Phillips Murrah is exceptionally good at what they do, and that everyone here enjoys working with the people around them.

The firm has a really healthy culture, and I am lucky to have been able to spend time here this summer. The experience at the Firm has been quite different than the law school experience in good ways. I have enjoyed being around people—my typical day as a law student is a much quieter one. Law school is good at teaching legal concepts and theories. This experience has been wonderful because we have gotten to learn how to take the same concepts and theories and use them in the real world.

I went to a small junior college in west Texas only because I received a golf scholarship and would not have gone otherwise. Once I got to college, I discovered that I loved to read and write. I soon realized that I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing that every single day. I didn’t know any lawyers growing up but heard from different people that lawyers spend a lot of time reading and writing. Law has been a really good fit because it is the intersection of the things I enjoy the most.

This summer experience has only increased my excitement for the practice of law. I am so thankful for my time at Phillips Murrah.

2024 Phillips Murrah Summer Clerk portrait Reid Powell

Reid Powell

Reid Powell

Reid Powell is a second-year law student at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, where he is involved with the Dean’s Leadership Fellows Program, Phi Alpha Delta, and the Board of Advocates. He plans to pursue a career in civil litigation. Reid holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Oklahoma City University.

Reid said:

My experience this summer with Phillips Murrah has been fantastic. It is very apparent that the attorneys here are passionate about their clients, the practice of law, and the community around them. It has been invaluable getting to learn from them the past six weeks.

My experience at PM has not been different than I imagined, however, it has been better! I did not anticipate just how much I would enjoy both working at a “big law” firm and the work that we do. It has been amazing getting to explore so many different areas of the law. Working at Phillips Murrah this summer has allowed me to take the skills and knowledge that I have learned in the classroom thus far and apply it practically to the practice of law.

My motivation to pursue a career in the legal profession was two-fold: 1. Having a political science degree; and 2. Wanting to leave the world a better place than I found it. In undergrad, I realized that my interests and values aligned with pursuing a legal career, and the wide range of opportunities I could have with a J.D. excited me.

2024 Phillips Murrah Summer Clerk portrait Lacy Kelly

Lacy Kelly

 Lacy Kelly

Lacy Kelly is a second-year law student at Oklahoma City University School of Law, where she is also pursuing a certificate in Commercial Law. She is passionate about transactional practice and is dedicated to honing her legal skills. Lacy holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Oklahoma.

Lacy said:

I’m so grateful to be at a place where everyone is so dedicated and cares so much about their work and their clients. I also love the inclusive atmosphere. This experience teaches you what law school doesn’t – how to do the lawyering!

I worked in government before law school, so I had no idea what a big law firm was going to be like. I was a little nervous about coming to PM, but I have been so welcomed by all the wonderful attorneys and staff and have loved working with everyone here.

Non-traditional students can be successful in law school and at law firms. I started law school at age 35.

If you are interested is learning more about a career at Phillips Murrah, please visit our CAREERS page.

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